Welcome to Chiron 2020
We are pleased to share with you the 2020 edition of Chiron, the magazine for alumni of the Melbourne Medical School.
In this edition we explore COVID-19. From the ICU to the emergency department, the mental health space to public policy, it’s fair to say that this year has shone a light on the extraordinary work of healthcare professionals across the globe.
We are immensely proud of our exceptional alumni community working on the ground, in policy and in research, and hope you enjoy reading more about their efforts in this edition of Chiron.
You can enjoy Chiron by browsing the articles below or downloading your PDF copy here.
SPOTLIGHT ON ALUMNI
Dr Stephen Warrillow
Dr Stephen Warrillow (MBBS, 1996 & PhD, 2020) Director of Intensive Care at Austin Health & Director of the Critical Care Institute at Epworth HealthCare.
Professor Fiona Russell
Helping people has always motivated Professor Fiona Russell (PhD 2011), who has improved the lives of countless families globally.
Professor Patrick McGorry AO
A pioneer of modern mental health care, Professor Patrick McGorry AO (MD 2003) has never shirked a challenge.
Dr Stephen Parnis
Dr Stephen Parnis (MBBS 1992, PG DipSurgAnat 2000) developed a social conscience early growing up in Melbourne’s western suburbs – and is still fighting for what he believes is right.
Transforming our future starts with an investment in adolescent health today
Professors George Patton and Susan Sawyer are an academic power couple, having led global research on adolescent health for 25 years. They and their colleagues have greatly advanced the understanding of adolescence and its effects on health across the life course.
Professor Jason Kovacic
When he witnessed a doctor treat a Sherpa during a trek through Nepal, Professor Jason Kovacic (BMedSc 1992, MBBS 1994) knew he had to pursue medicine.
Dr Yvonne Ho
Over generations, knowledge is shared through education, organisations, friends and families. This deliberate and sometimes incidental transfer is one of the ways we adapt to challenges as a species.
Associate Professor Luke Burchill
Associate Professor Luke Burchill (MBBS (Hons) 1999, PhD 2013) is Australia’s first Aboriginal cardiologist. He is a Yorta Yorta/ Dja Dja Warrung man who grew up in Mooroopna and Echuca in regional Victoria.
Corpus Medicorum: Medicine and Music
Musical skill is a familiar theme among medical students and health professionals. For some, their focus on music dwindles when the demands of university study, clinical placements and vocations take over. But for members of Corpus Medicorum, an orchestra comprised of practitioners, professionals and students of healthcare, music continues to resonate.
On a rainy November evening in 2019, Reunion Weekend welcomed alumni and guests from the six schools of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.
A legacy of research excellence
Dr Bob Dickens (MBBS 1962) will continue to make an impact in paediatric orthopaedic research and care through a new dedicated research trust established in his honour by Pamela Galli AO.
On the front line of the response to COVID-19
The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity has been at the forefront of the response to COVID-19 since January 2020 and continues to lead the way in research and policy advice.
Associate Professor Steven Tong
Associate Professor Steven Tong (MBBS (Hons) 1998) is a Royal Melbourne Hospital infectious diseases clinician and co-lead of clinical research at the Doherty Institute.
3D printing medical equipment for COVID-19
The 3D printing space thrives on open source collaboration and is proving ideal for designing and prototyping customised solutions for medical personal protective equipment.
Ventilation hoods for ICU beds protecting healthcare workers
While we may not be able to see it, whenever we speak, cough or sneeze, we expel tiny droplets, into the air. It’s in these droplets, that COVID-19 can spread and rapidly infect all who come into contact.
Indigenous Eye Health in Focus
Twenty-twenty was to be a watershed year for the University’s Indigenous Eye Health team. Then COVID-19 hit, and everything changed. But while it may not be the year of milestones they were expecting, their goals remain within sight.
Associate Professor David Lye
While the COVID-19 pandemic was unfolding here in Australia, many of our international alum were dealing with similar, and in some circumstances, much more challenging times overseas.
Today's crisis, tomorrow's history
Not since the Spanish flu has Australia experienced a health crisis as catastrophic as COVID-19. The first half of 2020 has brought a united effort in Australia to minimise the impact of the pandemic; an effort that has seen Australia emerge as a world leader in this global disaster.
THE NEXT GENERATION
Melbourne Medical School welcomes mentoring program for final year students
For students preparing to graduate, the transition from study to professional practice can be daunting. While classrooms and practical training prepare students for clinical settings, mentoring can help students build soft skills like networking and interview skills.
Paying it Forward
Professor Emeritus David Penington AC (MBBS 1949, Hon LLD 1995) has had an illustrious career spanning three continents, including roles as the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Vice Chancellor of the University of Melbourne. Now, through a new scholarship, he’s helping first-year medicine student Jake Laycock set the foundations for his own successful career.
How should medical students respond to COVID-19?
Medical students have always volunteered to help during health crises and disasters, and research suggests that pitching in with due care is good for them.
Army of students steps up
While hospitals started prepping for the potential wave of coronavirus patients, stockpiling PPE equipment and setting up makeshift ICU wards, thousands of medical students across the country answered the call to step up and help fight COVID-19.
Sticking together in times of crisis
Daniel Lamanna is a Canadian international student currently in his third year of the Doctor of Medicine course based at the Epworth Clinical School. Along with other student volunteers, Daniel helped to set up a Medical Student Support Initiative to ease the burden of home and life responsibilities for frontline health workers during the pandemic.
Toward 2022: The new Doctor of Medicine
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s how to adapt to uncertain environments. This is particularly true for our medical and healthcare workforce.
Professional community supports students during crisis
The onset of COVID-19 earlier this year created a ripple effect of challenges through the Melbourne Medical School. Subject coordinators scrambled to get content online and clinical placements were cancelled.
Melbourne Medical School alum appointed Australia's first Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health
Leading Australian psychiatrist Associate Professor Ruth Vine (MBBS 1980, GDipPsychMed 1990, GDipArts(Crim) 1994) was recently appointed Australia’s first Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health at the Commonwealth Department of Health.
Prime Minister's Prize for New Innovators
Congratulations to Dr Luke Campbell (BMedSc 2009, MBBS (Hons) 2009, PhD 2019), who won the 2019 Prime Minister’s Prize for New Innovators.
Dr Dan Wilson – Victorian Junior Doctor of the Year
Congratulations to Dr Dan Wilson (MD 2017), who was awarded the Victorian Junior Doctor of the Year 2019 by the Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria (PMCV) and Confederation of Postgraduate Medical Education Councils (CPMEC).
Expert updates: Rural health COVID-19 webinar series
The Department of Rural Health has brought together education, mental health and medical experts to discuss the profound impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had in rural and regional settings.
#IAMYOURDOCTOR International Women's Day breakfast for first-year medical students
In Australia and elsewhere, more than half of commencing medical students are women. Generational change has both ushered in more opportunities for women to excel, and highlighted the work still needed to combat persistent stereotypes, unconscious bias, under-representation in leadership roles, and the gender pay gap.
Australia's first fully-online cancer-specific degree launches
With the growing incidence of cancer worldwide, specialist leaders in oncology, cancer care, research, prevention, detection and cancer education are in increasing demand.
Welcome to the Department of Cardiometabolic Health
The Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health is an exciting new collaboration between the Melbourne Medical School and the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute.
Mobile Learning Unit helps clinicians respond to the pandemic
In recent months, Melbourne Medical School’s Mobile Learning Unit has developed a series of online courses aimed to equip clinicians globally with skills to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
New department heads
This year we have welcomed three new outstanding Heads of Department in Professor Chris Davey (MP 2006, PhD 2010), Head of Department of Psychiatry, Professor Peter Choong (MBBS 1984, MD 1994), Head of Department of Surgery and Professor Patricia Desmond (BSc (Hons) 1978, MSc 1981, MBBS 1984, MD 2005), Head of Department of Medicine and Radiology.